Navarasa Review: Edhiri - Revathy, Vijay Sethupathi elevate the Bejoy Nambiar film
It’s the performances from Revathy and Vijay Sethupathi that truly elevate this film
Through an act of compassion, a man can become a great man. Through a great act of compassion, a man can become something even greater—perhaps even god. It’s perhaps why you keep hearing the song, ‘Manidhanenbavan dheivamaagalaam’, through Bejoy Nambiar’s opening segment in Navarasa. The story isn’t exactly complicated: Vijay Sethupathi, playing a character that seems like a spiritual extension of the one he played in Iraivi, commits a crime in a fit of rage (and for that reason, this story could well fit into ‘routhiram’ too).
Director: Bejoy Nambiar
Cast: Revathy, Vijay Sethupathi, Prakash Raj
Streaming on: Netflix
Rasa: Karuna (Compassion)
You will find that many of the stories in Navarasa utilise other rasas to focus on their own—and this, I suppose, is the interdependency of emotions. So, in Edhiri, a man commits a crime and must, like Raskolnikov, deal with his conscience. Here though, there’s another character with a similar battle—the wife of the murdered man—and there’s a small twist in the end that wonderfully places her alongside Dheena (Vijay Sethupathi), and not above him. The two yearn for some compassion, some mercy. Dheena seeks it from Savithri (Revathy), and the latter, in turn, seeks it from what she deems to be a higher authority. (Savithri incidentally is a pretty curious name for a woman who’s hardly the ‘perfect wife’.)
It’s the performances from Revathy and Vijay Sethupathi that truly elevate this film. It’s a delight to watch them in each other’s presence, to watch their eyes spill so many secrets. Great actors don’t need the crutch of words, and you see this particularly when, in a scene, Vijay Sethupathi leans on a pillar, hears the verses of ‘Manidhanenbavan…’ and lets his head drop, almost in resignation and in regret. It’s bewitching to watch them both, and for that reason, I’ll remember Edhiri.